PR: Read Naruto online for free

Well, not entirely for free—you need to get your hands on a copy of the May issue of Shonen Jump, so you can find out the secret password. Then enter it on the Shonen Jump website and through May 5, you can read the first 120 pages of vol. 45 of Naruto for free. Read on for details!

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A little news, a lot of reviews

God Len posts this week’s new releases at Japanator. And here is a rundown on the April list from Digital Manga, including the first volumes in their new DokiDoki imprint. (Image is vol. 1 of Train Train, one of the DokiDoki books.)

Gia notes that the new book of Hayao Miyazaki’s essays is available for preorder.

News from Japan: Kouta Hirano, creator of Hellsing, has a new series in the works, Drifters, to run in Young King Ours magazine.

Reviews: At Blogcritics, Bill Sherman is curious about whether he can dive into a series midstream, so he jumps right in with vol. 9 of The Gentlemen’s Alliance +. Confusion results, but he eventually sorts it all out. BakaTanuki reviews the Udon kids’ manga lineup at The Gaming Dungeon. Other reviews of note:

Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of 20th Century Boys (Comics-and-More)
Dick McVengeance on vol. 1 of 20th Century Boys (Japanator)
Lianne Sentar on Antique Bakery (Sleep Is For the Weak)
Connie on vol. 2 of Black Jack (Slightly Biased Manga)
Tangognat on vol. 1 of Bound Beauty (Tangognat)
Holly Ellingwood on Cut (Active Anime)
Kris on Cut (Manic About Manga)
Snow Wildsmith on Cut (Fujoshi Librarian)
Danielle Leigh on vol. 1 of Gakuen Prince (Comics Should Be Good)
Rachel Bentham on vol. 1 of Hey Class President (Active Anime)
Deb Aoki on Ikigami (About.com)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 10 of La Corda d’Oro (The Comic Book Bin)
Greg Hackmann on vol. 4 of Legend (Mania.com)
Katherine Farmar on Little Cry Baby (Comics Village)
Kris on Mr. Flower Bride (Manic About Manga)
Connie on vol. 2 of Nephilim (Slightly Biased Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 4 of Nora: The Last Chronicle of Devildom (The Comic Book Bin)
Bad Jew on Oishinbo (Sleep Is For the Weak)
Erin Jones on vol. 1 of Otomen (Mania.com)
Oyceter on vols. 1 and 2 of Phantom Dream (Sakura of DOOM)
Julie on vol. 1 of Pig Bride (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 1 of Pluto (Kuriousity)
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 2 of TOKKO: Devils Awaken (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 1 of TOKKO: Phantom Hunter (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Emerian Rich on Until the Full Moon (dashPunk) (via WFA)
Anna on vol. 1 of V.B. Rose (TokyoJupiter) (via WFA)
Holly Ellingwood on The Way to Heaven (Active Anime)
Connie on vol. 17 of Yakitate!! Japan (Slightly Biased Manga)

Tatsumi is coming to town; Akihabara hosts artists

Yoshihiro Tatsumi, creator of The Push Man, Abandon the Dead in Tokyo, and, most recently, A Drifting Life, will be making appearances in New York and Toronto in late April/early May. Deb Aoki has all the details. Also, The Onion’s AV Club gives A Drifting Life a glowing review. (Image swiped from a preview of A Drifting Life that ran in last month’s issue of the online magazine Words Without Borders.)

News from Japan: Yuki Nakaji, creator of Venus in Love, will start a new manga in the next issue of Hakusensha’s LaLa magazine. And Blood+ artist Asuka Katsura is launching not one but two new manga. At Japanator, God Len reports on an artist’s cafe with a twist: It’s set up for would-be doujinshi artists, and it’s in Akihabara.

Reviews: Michelle Smith reviews the light novel that sparked a revolution, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, at Manga Recon. Johanna Draper Carlson reviews three Aurora manga from their LuvLuv line at Comics Worth Reading; check this out if you’re thinking of taking advantage of their sale. Over at Manga Recon, the team compiles their short takes into another Manga Minis column. Other reviews of note:

Shaun A. Noordin on vol. 1 of 07-Ghost (The Star of Malaysia)
Marsha Reid on vol. 8 of Angel Diary (Kuriousity)
Connie on vol. 27 of Basara (Slightly Biased Manga)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 5 of Black Lagoon (Sequential Tart)
Cynthia on CUT (Boys Next Door)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 4 of Dragonball (VizBig edition) (Sequential Tart)
Sesho on vols. 6 and 7 of Eden (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Charles Solomon on vols. 1-6 of Gimmick! (The Los Angeles Times)
Connie on vol. 1 of Jyu-Oh-Sei (Slightly Biased Manga)
Michelle Smith on vol. 4 of Monkey High! (soliloquy in blue)
Matthew J. Brady on vol. 17 of Monster (Warren Peace Sings the Blues)
Erica Friedman on vol. 3 of My-Hime (Okazu)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of The Name of the Flower (Comics Worth Reading)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 1 of Nephylym (Sequential Tart)
Deb Aoki on vol. 1 of Ninja Baseball Kyuma (About.com)
Marissa Sammy on Oishinbo: Sake (Sequential Tart)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 1 of Otomen (Sequential Tart)
Patti Martinson on vol. 1 of Peacemaker Kurogane (Sequential Tart)
Sheldon I. Wiebe on vols. 1 and 2 of Pluto (Eclipse Magazine)
Julie on vol. 5 of The Prince of Tennis (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Julie on Pure Heart (MangaCast)
Lori Henderson on vol. 22 of Red River (Comics Village)
Kris on Spell (Manic About Manga)
Cynthia on The Way to Heaven (Boys Next Door)
Sesho on vol. 4 of xxxHolic (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Michelle Smith on vol. 13 of xxxHolic (soliloquy in blue)
Connie on vol. 16 of Yakitate!! Japan (Slightly Biased Manga)
Sheena McNeil on vol. 17 of Yakitate!! Japan (Sequential Tart)
D.M. Evans on vol. 4 of Zombie-Loan (Manga Jouhou)

First mangettes sighting and other news

Lissa Pattillo links to the first sighting of one of CLAMP’s mangettes (mini-manga) on Amazon.jp; for those who have forgotten (the project was announced in July 2007), Dark Horse will be publishing the short manga simultaneously in Japan, Korea, and North America later this year.

The villagers take a look at this week’s new releases at Comics Village.

Wizard has shuttered Anime Insider, and The Otaku Librarian, for one, will miss it.

Kai-Ming Cha spoke about manga biographies to an academic audience this week and found them not particularly receptive.

The New York Times manga best-seller list is up, and this week’s WTF? title is Tsubasa: Those With Wings, by Fruits Basket creator Natsuki Takaya. Vol. 22 of Fruits Basket tops the list, followed by the usual string of Naruto volumes, vol. 6 of Vampire Knight, and one of Tokyopop’s Warcraft manga. Gia and her commenters weigh in at Anime Vice.

Matt Blind posts his best-seller list, the top 500 manga (online sales), at Rocket Bomber. Tsubasa: Those With Wings checks in at number 295.

At The Eastern Edge, Gottsu-Iiyan takes on the appropriation of Japanese terms and the quality of anime.

John Jakala has sage advice for these trying times: Beat-up comics read just as well as mint-condition ones, and at a fraction of the cost.

News from Japan: At Anime Vice, Gia reports that four Japanese publishers will be teaming up to re-release the classic Cyborg 009 in a new format. ANN brings the news that the July issue of Deluxe Margaret will feature spinoffs of two series, Matsuri Special (by Boys Over Flowers creator Yoko Kamio) and High School Debut. The Slayers Light Magic manga is coming to an end.

Reviews: Ed Sizemore takes a look at Udon’s four new kids’ manga at Comics Worth Reading. At Blog@Newsarama, J. Caleb Mozzocco has an early review of Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life.

Lissa Pattillo on vol. 3 of Aventura (Kuriousity)
Sadie Mattox on Bride of the Water God (Extremely Graphic)
James Fleenor on vols. 12 and 13 of Claymore (Anime Sentinel)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of Click (Okazu)
Amanda on vol. 1 of Fushigi Yugi (VizBig edition) (Blogcritics)
Nadia Oxford on Kids Draw Big Book of Everything Manga (Mania.com)
Julie on vol. 4 of Kurohime (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Leroy Douresseaux on Love/Knot (The Comic Book Bin)
Grant, the Hipster Dad on vol. 5 of Lupin III (The Hipster Dad’s Bookshelf)
Deb Aoki on vol. 1 of Maid Sama! (About.com)
Matthew J. Brady on vol. 16 of Monster (Warren Peace Sings the Blues)
The Otaku Librarian on vols. 1 and 2 of Papillon (The Otaku Librarian)
Charles Tan on vol. 2 of Pluto (Comics Village)
Julie on vol. 4 of The Prince of Tennis (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 3 of Real (Mania.com)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of St. Lunatic High School (Manga Xanadu)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of Samurai 7 (The Comic Book Bin)
Marsha Reid on vol. 2 of Sunshine Sketch (Kuriousity)
James Fleenor on vol. 1 of Tantric Stripfighter Trina (Anime Sentinel)
Emily on Tonari no Kaibutsukun (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Leroy Douresseaux on Utahime the Songstress (The Comic Book Bin)
Melinda Beasi on vol. 13 of xxxHolic (Comics Should Be Good)
Erica Friedman on vol. 3 of Your and My Secret (Okazu)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of ZE (The Comic Book Bin)

Taxonomy, Takahashi, Taisho awards

Rivkah questions my use of the term “OEL manga” in the piece I wrote for PWCW, saying “I didn’t realize anybody still called it that.” Admittedly, it’s a bit dated, and I usually use the term “global manga,” but in this case, I thought about the possibilities and decided that “original English manga” was exactly the term I needed. I was writing about Nightschool, a work that is marketed as manga and serialized in a manga magazine alongside Japanese and Korean comics, so calling it “global” seemed a bit rude—Japan and Korea are part of the “globe” as well. And “American manga” wouldn’t do, as I also mentioned a short story by the Australian creator Queenie Chan and Maximum Ride, by American writer James Patterson and Korean artist NaRae Lee. So the simplest term to link these works, and set them off from the Korean and Asian titles, was “OEL manga.”

As to Rivkah’s belief that we should just call everything “comics” or “graphic novels,” sorry, that doesn’t seem very useful. When you say “manga,” people know what they are getting: a set format (black and white, about 200 pages, one of two standard trim sizes), a set of artistic conventions (some or most of which may be ignored by individual artists), a set of genres (again, not set in stone), and a storytelling style. It’s almost impossible to define manga, aside from format, because artists do experiment quite a bit—the characters in Nightschool don’t have big eyes—but, like porn, I know it when I see it. Kramer’s Ergot, Archie, Watchmen, Green Lantern, anything by Jason: not manga. Nightschool, Oishinbo, Monster, Fruits Basket: manga. And while you could indeed say that Kramer’s Ergot, Archie, and Green Lantern are all “just comics,” they in fact fall into different categories that are described by broad, generic terms—indy comics, kids’ comics, superheroes. These terms, like “manga,” exist because they are useful. Besides, if we just called them all “comics,” I would have to find a new title for my blog. (Image is of Steady Beat, Rivkah’s first, um, graphic novel.)

Rumiko Takahashi’s new manga, One Sweet Sunday, is available online, in Japanese. This link at ANN explains how to navigate the page.

Adrian Tomine discusses Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life at Blog@Newsarama.

At Sporadic Sequential, John Jakala notes some similarities between Slam Dunk‘s Hanamichi and a certain big, quick-tempered American guy.

In case you’re coming late to the party, School Library Journal has a Dragonball 101 article for you.

News from Japan: The Manga Taisho awards are out, and Anime Vice has the list. The top manga was Chihayafuru, by Yuki Suetsugu, who was in the news a few years ago for her alleged plagiarism in Eden no Hana (Flower of Eden). ANN has the Japanese comics rankings for the past week.

Reviews: Eva Volin reviews the first of the Udon kids’ comics, Swans in Space, at Good Comics for Kids. At The Hooded Utilitarian, Bill Randall discusses the “perfect girlfriend” character in manga and its weird expression in Minami’s Sweetheart.

Julie on vol. 10 of Beauty Pop (Manga Maniac Cafe)
A Library Girl on vol. 1 of Chobits (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Jillian Steinhauer on Good-Bye (The Daily Cross Hatch)
Connie on vol. 8 of High School Debut (Slightly Biased Manga)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 1 of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Kuriousity)
Kiara on vol. 1 of Papillon (Manga Jouhou)
Tangognat on vol. 1 of Pumpkin Scissors (Tangognat)
Michael C. Lorah on Solanin (Blog@Newsarama)
Katherine Farmar on Truly Kindly (Comics Village)
Katherine on V-Hunter (Okazu)

Nightschool, Yokaiden, and new releases

The first volume of Svetlana Chmakova’s Nightschool is out, and I talk to Svet, Yen Press honcho Kurt Hassler, and editor JuYoun Lee about the creation of the book and changing attitudes about global manga in this week’s PWCW. There’s a little surprise for Queenie Chan fans in there too, so go check it out. Also at PWCW, Calvin Reid takes a look at a new series of Korean biographical manhwa for kids.

David Welsh picks the best of this week’s new releases at Precocious Curmudgeon.

Deb Aoki talks to Nina Matsumoto, creator of Yokaiden as well as the infamous Manga Simpsons, at About.com.

Translators Athena and Alethea Nibley discuss translating prose as opposed to comics in their latest column at Manga Life.

Reviews

Phil Guie on vols. 1 and 2 of Akihabara@Deep (Manga Recon)
Connie on vol. 26 of Basara (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 10 of Beauty Pop (Slightly Biased Manga)
Noah Fulmor on vols. 1-4 of Black Lagoon (Manga Recon)
Connie on Flower Garden (Manga Recon)
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 2 of Future Lovers (Fujoshi Librarian)
Connie on vol. 2 of The Girl Who Runs Through Time (Slightly Biased Manga)
Casey Brienza on vols. 1 and 2 of Kieli (Graphic Novel Reporter)
James Fleenor on vols. 20 and 21 of King of Hell (Anime Sentinel)
Dan Polley on vol. 9 of Kitchen Princess (Comics Village)
Connie on vol. 1 of Knights (Slightly Biased Manga)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 2 of Oishinbo: Sake (Comics Worth Reading)
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 7 of One Thousand and One Nights (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Ken Haley on Orange (Manga Recon)
Barb Lien-Cooper on vols. 3 and 4 of Real (Manga Life)
Emily on Sentimental (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Barb Lien-Cooper on vol. 3 of Slam Dunk (Manga Life)
Marsha Reid on vol. 5 of Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning (Kuriousity)
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 7 of Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Tangognat on vol. 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation Manga: Boukenshin (Tangognat)
Julie on Utahime: The Songstress (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane on vol. 3 of We Were There (Manga Life)
Erica Friedman on vol. 15 of Yuri Hime (part 2) (Okazu)